Tag Archive: work

Time with Benefits

Last Sunday I gave a talk in church. I was really grateful for the opportunity because it made me realize that I am rather unorganized with all my success information and that I lacked focus.

When writing my talk I wrote a little gem about time and procrastination. It had to do with washing dishes. Simply put, dishes may require about a half hour to wash, dry and put away. I do not like doing dishes but accept that they just need to be done. I procrastinate thinking that it will be easier later, or that maybe the wife will end up doing them. The gem I found is that a half hour will pass, I can guarantee it will pass in the next half hour that you read this or any time that you set a half hour timer…that half hour is starting now and will end in exactly a half hour.

THE DIFFERENCE is wither or not you did the dishes. The half hour that passed wither you wanted it to or not, could have yielded a benefit if you did something with it. Which comes to the point and fallacy about procrastination. You CANNOT SAVE TIME, and in many ways you cannot save your personal energy as well. If either fallacy were true we would have couch potatoes with all the time in the world and enough energy to run a triathlon any moment they wish!

Knowing about these fallacies have helped me tremendously. When I want to procrastinate I just remember that I want each possible hour or half hour to have a benefit when it passes.


Fear of Risk

I keep seeing hard working, intelligent people all around me with good ideas and neat talents but still struggle with contentment, money, and just overall life (myself included).

I was listening to a 48 days podcast that touched on fear and risk…and it hit me. We all take too little risk, or better yet we are just unwilling to risk anything for the things that we want.

There is a conundrum rattling around in my mind about time being wasted on busy work and how that relates to services where people are paid to standby for the convenience of others.

The other part of the conundrum is the saving up and then doing what I’ve always wanted or finally taking risk with persistence to reach goals and dreams.

Early in my marriage my wife and I decided to get out of debt, listened to Dave Ramsey for years and years. Finally reached that last February…  I am concerned that it took just under 10 years. The majority of my 20’s was spent digging out of debt aquire in the first year or two of this decade of my age, and that was only to the tune of around $40,000. I cringe to think that if I waited to save for a down payment on a house or have an emergency fund large enough to take big risks I will be 40…

The problem there is I am trying to make a risk not a risk…and risk wasting away the years of my life not benefiting and living in fear and doubt.

The problem goes on and on, doing something stupid with no plan and no income would be stupid  but pays off now and again and whatnot.

What risks are you taking and how are they working out?

After reading Ender’s Game I thought that I should try a much older sci-fi adventure to see how the writing differs.  When I discovered that C.S. Lewis wrote “Out of the Silent Planet” and the fact that the title is a very catchy Iron Maiden song, I set about to listen to that book next.



Lewis was extremely descriptive is his settings.  So much that I literally allowed my mind to blur the scene together and not get to hung up on what the scene would exactly look like.  I did like, however, the description of how Ransom could not make sense of much of what he saw on the new planet.  I compare this to learning my new job.  When I became a “pump man” for oil well bottom hole pumps, when I entered the shop for the first time…all the pieces were just bits of metal, that they had purposes and different sizes. It took my brain a moment to understand that and about six months to internalize the same, and just now after about my seventh month I am becoming useful.

I will comment that it was an exhausting mental effort to listen to the whole book as quickly as I did (about 3 days in the work truck and a little at home), but it was a fantastic story and even better from a viewpoint of science in the 1930’s and 40’s.  It felt oldschool and classy as the characters were all gentlemen in their own way.

I fear that much of the philosophy was lost on me, I know that the book makes the alien planet out to be a heaven of blissful people that never think any harm and makes humans out to be monstrous…but there was a lot more that if I had been reading the book instead of listening to the audio, I would have underlined or highlighted.

Some great quotes from the book:

“The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

It is a little maddening to start learning something, get really excited or experience please from the learning and then want to know everything there is to know on the matter and all in the same night!


“And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

Opposition in all things makes the good enjoyable and the bad fearful…or something like that…


“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”
C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet

This makes sense in the book, but I fear that dwelling on one good memory instead of moving forward to make many more worth while memories is a dangerous thing.

Back to Work

It has been a wonderful holiday season, despite the illnesses that have plaged Alberta I have been able to spend a lot of time with family and friends. My wife and I got a game called “Ticket to Ride” and have played it almost a half dozen times already!

Tonight (this post is scheduled for the next day) I am thinking of how I will miss sleeping in and bumming around the house and still having ample time to clean up and get organized.

But I am also excited to get back to work and going to work on my goals. The biggest thing for me is maintaining the goals I have set and scheming towards their realization. How easy it will be after life returns to normal to forget the goals and the well thought out desires we have for ourselves for this year 2013. Even now I am almost to lazy to make a blog post so I am doing it on my iPhone while my wife plays Harry Potter on the Wii…will I go to bed very shortly or will I watch an episode of Star Trek TNG? It is really a 50/50 chance either will happen. One will make it easier to go to the gym tomorrow and the other will make it harder…

I hope that I can raise to the event of making this year a great one, and I hope that for all of you reading this and for many that are not reading this.

How do you keep yourself on track for your goals and resolutions?

I Wanna Work for LifeHacker!

So I have been stewing about my goals that I had for 2012, ones that I accomplished and the many that I have not.  And I have been trying to think of want I really want out of life…I finally discovered how awesome of a blog the http://lifehacker.com/ site is and all the wonderful little articles that help one be more prodcutive, do more with their goals, and just some neat things that you can do with everyday items.

Lifehacker has been there for quite some time and I guess I just nothing had any interest in it, or when I ran across it…it did not have anything of interest to me.  But I read an article that almost change my life (I say almost because I have not perfectly implemented it yet…), it was about clearing to neutral, something that I had always known and sometimes used and have always had great results with. http://lifehacker.com/5957553/stop-procrastinating-by-clearing-to-neutral

I have always had ideas and systems like this, I also am crazy about mind maps, organization, and success strategies.  I have decided that I would really like to work for Lifehacker…so I tried finding job posting and the closest thing I could find was a job in Australia… don’t get me wrong I would love to move there, but that is not feasible at the moment since I am living in Canada and struggling to provide for my wife and two daughters.

So the new plan is to do better and better on my own blog, and get it to the quality that you would expect to see on lifehacker…who knows, maybe they will pick up one of my post and put it on their blog!

Here’s to dreaming, scheming and making some big hairy goals for 2013 that will make us stretch and grow!  Happy holidays!


Twitter is absolutely awesome, I really do love it. I had no desire for it when I first tried it out, but after reading some business material and how B2B relationships start over Twitter I was excited to start it back up again. I have gotten in touch with a few web companies in Alberta but nothing that has panned out just yet. My good friend Dianna @dsuzzette has taken to Twitter like a moth to a light, and she is promoting her new book there!

But despite the large number of users there needs to more, much much more. Here are some organizations and people that should be on and why:

1. The Further Ed Schools:

These are the post secondary, non-credit schools that help with oil field tickets, software courses, or learning the guitar. They are community builders and life improvement centers…and they are struggling, barely getting by on grants. If they were on Twitter they could constantly update about what classes they offer, events they are holding, and get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

2. Staffing Agency:

This is a no brainer! An organization that is suppose to alert weary job seekers of all the opportunities that are out there…Twitter!  What about small gigs that only last a day or a couple of days…Twitter!  Help with resumes, interviews, hygiene Laughing out loud….Twitter!  This is so needed that it kills me, I went to the local Staffing agency and asked if they would do this…only if I took an admin job and rode a chair for the majority of the day…no thanks….but they still need to get on Twitter!

3.  Baby Sitters:

Maybe I am getting a little bit silly here, but how nice would it be to have your pick of babysitters?  That show there commitment by having a fluent twitter feed?  How much insane business would they get?  And think of that mother who has to have constant updates?  Just have a Tweetdeck feed to #mylittlebabychloeandmercedes … (those are my two little ones).  I dunno I just think it would be neat.

4.  Small Oil Field Outfits:

Living in Rural Alberta there are quite a few small oilfield outfits.  They go through people like crazy, some stay a week, others a months, very few stay much longer than a year if they ever stay that long.  This field needs all the new blood it can get, but here is the thing, the oil field industry is fickle.  With booms and bust there may be times where there is no work.  Another thing is that it is a life style to work in this field.  When things are going they are going, and you could work all day everyday.  It is easy to burn out.  So using Twitter people could job hop, keeping their oil tickets current, but also have the freedom to take a break from this work and pick it up again when they need to.  Also oil field companies could always find people when they need them.  So tweet when you need people, and when it is slow, talk about how cool your company is!

5.  Event/Convention Centers:

The only event center that I am really familiar with is the one in Salt Lake City that had Brainshare at it so many times. I got to go when my dad worked for Novell, when he didn’t anymore the jerks would not let me in!  But they have so many crazy cool conventions that they need to keep people up to date, yeah it may be the vendors that are using the center job to market their events, but what would it hurt them to keep their center super busy all the time?

These are just a few ideas that would most benefit me at this time in my life, but still, if these 5 people/organizations were to utilize Twitter, I can only see great things for them!  And there are probably a 100 more great examples…. So please use Twitter so we can make this dream a reality!

Sad I Wrote Off Twitter

I checked out Twitter when it first came out, it was fine and all, but the posts seemed too short and I was only following a few people so the content was pretty static.  After reading “Platform” I have more of a sense of what Twitter is all about…and I am really sad that I did not stick with it.

Yeah I still have the account open from when I started, but it does not have many followers since I did not post regularly or almost at all.  I started a new Twitter handle @theHartsOffice and am building my brand from there.  It is crazy how much I love Twitter now!  For a would be entrepreneur Twitter is perfect!  People write short, to the point posts that have to do with things I care about, and it loads quicker than Facebook, as well as it does not have on the annoying reminders that someone is playing Castleville or any number of other silly time wasting games.

Also I can post more than two or three times a day and people are happy about that.  I get intelligent responses and feedback about questions I have or comments that I make. I hope you will follow me on Twitter and I would love to follow you and start a productive conversation about fighting mediocrity!

Holy cow I have not been blogging or getting any of the usually stuff done.  This last two or so weeks have been intense for me building for my future.  I got the book “Platform” by Michael Hyatt, and read that all the way through, then I had this feeling that I should start a video blog, I got a little excited and then let it die cause it would be a lot of work.  But the feeling persisted almost to dread if I did not do it, I kept thinking that I just could not do it or that it would be no good.  I finally just made myself do it, and here it is for you to view in this blog!

Hope you enjoyed it, I only made it like a week ago but with all I have been trying to do I just never blogged about it.

THEN I decided to get serious about my website, my previous one http://www.hartwired.com was pretty lackluster, and now that domain points to the same place as the new URL http://www.hartsoffice.com.  The great thing about this site is that it markets me, what I do for the company I work for, my teaching and coaching in software that I do for a school here in Drumheller, and what I do on my own.  The exciting thing that this brand that I am building can come with me where ever I go.  So when I do move back to Utah, or move to Germany…that all my work will not be for nought in that new location.

I love the adage that Dave Ramsey so often uses in saying, “Leave the cave, kill something, and drag it home!”  I can fight mediocrity and so can you!

What are you doing to find, kill and drag something home? (Note: of course you know this is a metaphor for finding success, no actual killing is needed unless you work at a meat processing plant of some kind…)

Ears Irrigated

I got my ears irrigated today, I am one of the lucky 1 out of 4 that has a genetic disposition to produce the stickiest of ear wax that nothing short of going to the doctor and having them flush it out will do the trick.

That being said I feel a million times greater! My throat still feels spiky and I am still annoyed that this head cold thing has lasted almost two freaking weeks, but now that I am on the mend I am realizing all the great opportunities around me! There is so much work to do that I dunno if I should hunker down at the computer for hours or run around. Programming gigs, consulting gigs, second job, and selling!  Then of course you have to consider being a dad and a husband and the wife would like to sleep in once in a while too and needs a break from the kids from time to time.  So I am going to try and be as active as I can the rest of this week.  I say week cause I might feel overloaded if I think farer ahead than that.

The biggest thing is that I can’t get overwhelmed…just one thing at a time and whatever thing I am working on gets my entire focus. Well here I go!

I was washing dishes tonight at my second job thinking about how scary it is that I am not doing well at sales in my first job.  I am absolutely sick about it, and I really don’t want to have to face the boss.  It is not that he is gonna do anything terrible to me, I just have this weird mental deficiency that I think the world is going to end if something unpleasant happens.  I was washing dishes and I had to trick my freak out gland (not really a gland but some sort of parasite and has attached itself to my heart), that there was nothing to freak out about, I keep telling myself, “I’m not afraid, what’s the worse that can happen?  I’m not afraid.”  Then I realize that I really am terrified!

Why am I so fearful?  What is it that I am afraid of?  How is it that I can think that everything hinges on a single job?  When I am calmed down I can ask myself these questions, but if I let myself continue to ask more and more along these lines the freakout gland gets a rush of ‘freakosine’, swells up and makes my heart work ten times harder!

I am actually doing pretty well, I got a bunch more classes on computer programs to teach (a little stressful that I have to make the curriculum and then teach in front of a small group…), I have the money to get the MS Office suite that I need, and we are all caught up on bills for this month.  I am open and honest with my wife about what is going on and she (I am fairly sure) is open and honest with me about how she feels and what we can feasibly do with what we have.

I am assuming that a part of it is because I am sick and my throat has been in a lot of pain the last week, and now my ears are clogged with my genetic ‘stickier than most’ ear wax and everything seems like I am watching a boring movie that I have to pro actively participate in.  I was fairly excited about a marketing idea that I thought might turn the tables, but the boss is not for it at all, so that is a little stressful as well.

This is one of the reasons that I am so adamant about getting out of debt, so that the parasite on my heart may be removed once and for all!  Then I can say with confidence that “I am not afraid!”   I think I will try and find some scriptures on this matter, I am sure there are some good ones!